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Grinnell Overlook via Granite Park Trail

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Glacier National Park

Grinnell Overlook via Granite Park Trail is a 11.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Mc Donald, Montana that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until October.

Length 11.4 mi Elevation gain 3,710 ft Route type Out & Back

Hiking

Forest

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

Parts of this trail can be closed due to bear activity during the summer months. This trail seriously has everything - gorgeous wooded areas, steep and narrow climbs, huge meadows with wildflowers and deer and friendly marmots, ridiculously incredible views the entire way. Turn right at the granite park chalet when you see the closed sign if you want to get to the actual overlook! Please climb carefully to the top of the rocks if you want an almost 360 degree view! Hike through a mostly unshaded and sparse water trail. Great views though especially if you go all the way to the glacier overlook. Definitely worth the work.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (165)
Photos (408)
Recordings (112)
Completed (741)
Srinivas Narayanan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking

I started from Logan pass and took the detour to the Glacier overlook. The main hike in itself is moderate. So for an average hiker it’s an easy one.. but the detour to the glacier is very rough. It’s around 1 mile (more than the official .6 mile). This 1 mile elevation is very steep and saps the energy out. Took 45 min to hike up. The last half mile was very challenging. But it’s absolutely worth the pain. Once you get up you see 1 lake and the receding glacier. Hike up for 5 more min and you are rewarded with 3 more lakes. Carry at least 2 liters of water and save your energy for the glacier incline. Totally worth the hike. Trail is very well maintained. Wear a cap, and apply tan. The weather was partly cloudy so was not a big issue.

Natalie W.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
HikingBugs

Outstanding hike. Did it 8/2. Arrived at 6:30 AM MT, and while filling up, there were definitely still parking spots available. First part to the Chalet is uphill, but pretty gradual and not too difficult. Post-Chalet, very quick to the turn off, but the turn off to the overlook is no joke - truly straight uphill for what I have to think is longer than the stated .6 miles (my iPhone clocked 15.2 for the whole thing - though probably not accurate, I do think it’s more than the listed 10). Really steep and at times you think you’re just stepping in place! But you get there soon enough and the views could not be more worth it. Think it was about 3-3.5 hours to that point (after a quick rest at the Chalet) - the views at the glacier were so spectacular that I just got stuck in the moment and and stayed there for almost 2 hours (honestly until chipmunk/squirrel thing crawled right onto me). Honestly the hardest part was down from the chalet back to the parking lot - knees and feet were shot at that point and it was much much hotter (1-3 ish). People aren’t lying about the bugs - not for the first couple hours but the middle part they were swarming - kinda recommend just not stopping. Spectacular overall - one of my favorites all time.

Spencer Wolfe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking

Hiked this trail today with my sister! We arrived to the trailhead at 6:30am to make sure we got a spot. By 7:00am the lot was full. We made breakfast in the parking lot and headed up trail at 7:30. It took us 2 hours to get to the Chalet, where we stopped for a quick water/snack break. Up to the chalet was a constant uphill, but manageable. After the chalet it was .8 miles to the junction for Grinnell Glacier. At that point, the sign read .6 miles to the top. It was a LONG, STEEP .6 miles. Took us about an hour to hike from the Chalet to the glacier. The views were completely worth it. Beautiful 360 views of the park. Super windy at the top, I recommend bringing an extra layer. From the top, we hiked back to the car in 2 hours and 20 minutes. Parking lot to parking lot it took us ~6 hours with about an hour of relaxing Bugs: it was 58 degrees when we left the trailhead, no bugs for us on the entire trail. We brought long sleeve shirt and bug net but didn’t end us using. Overall: our favorite hike so far in Glacier! Challenging, but worth pushing on :)

tou vang
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020

Challenging but fun hike and worth it!

Lily Breukelman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

Trail closed 8/3

Nichole De Boom
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

Wonderful hike. Up hill the entire way up! The climb is worth it, the last mile is definitely the worst. A lot of people used poles and it would probably be helpful, I did not use them and did fine! Bear poop on the trail, but did not see any- just a TON of marmots! Coming from Minnesota the bugs were not AWFUL, but the flys in probably the 3-4th mile were pretty annoying- bug spray is very helpful! Bring sunscreen and lots of water! We completed the trail in about 5.5 hours and clocked about 12 miles (did some exploring with some extra adrenaline once we got to the top). Thankfully started just before 8am, giving us shade most of the way up- it would have been miserably hot going any later!

shikin lockman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 3, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!

The grinnel glacier is amazing. with that said, i found the total miles claimed on this trail extremely deceptive. it is a lot longer than the claimed 11.4 miles. The hike from the chalet to the junction that splits to highline vs overlook was at least a mile. The junction to the overlook was highly elevated and required many breaks for most people, especially with the sun beating on you. rhis seemed more like 1.5 to 2 miles. whether you attempt the grinnel glacier overlook via loop trail or highline, you have already lost some or a lot of energy from either a long highline hike or a shorter but steeper climb on the loop. i recommend more than 3L of water. 3L i think would force most people to conserve water on the hike instead of comfortably drinking. recommend to buy drinks and rest at the chalet, they accept cards. the mosquitos as everyone mentioned were relentless. returning to the loop parking with virtually no shade for 2 hours was close to unbearable. A lot of folks looked exhausted and dehydrated (whether or not they were doing highline to loop or loop round) for parking, around 620am there was only one spot left on designated parking. any other cars will have to park on overlook sections. summary - overlook was amazing. plan well and bring sunscreen and bugspray. bring 3 to 4L of water or plan to purchase at the chalet. Decide whats best for you (highline to glacier to loop parking lot vs loop rouns trip with glacier, one is longer but the other has close to double the elevation gain). also note, ive heard from more rhan one person that there was bear activity on the loop trail near the chalet. On the hike down, there were a lot of people but not as much on the way up for some time. bring bear spray like you always should on any trail.

Benjamin Schallop
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

Great trail, a lot of incline the entire way. A must to go to the Grinnell glacier overlook. Last 1 mile is tough but views are spectacular

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Joshua Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
HikingBugs

This is a hard three-part hike with a spectacular payoff. The first part of the hike tracks the ridgeline and features pretty views of mountains, meadows and waterfalls that descend for hundreds of feet. The second part winds through a pine forest and features vampiric bugs, a few dozen of whom now know me on an intimate level. The third part is a brutal ascent up the mountain on a narrow path with no shade. The views at the top are amazing. Make sure to follow the trail all the way up to the top for a full view of the glacier and several turquoise lakes; your followers on the ‘gram and your soul will thank you for making the final push.

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Noah Kershaw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
HikingGreat!
Alan Miller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Dorian George
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!No shade

Let me start off by saying the reward you get for this trail is completely worth all you will endure! We did our hike on 7/31/20 and parked at the loop at 6:35 am. When we got there, lot was full, but there is space along the side wall for you to “create” your own parking space if you’re lucky. The first three miles of the hike were tough, as it’s basically all uphill, but the views were incredibly serene. Then you get to the section of the trail that felt like you were walking through the long grass in Jurassic Park 2 (you know the part where the raptors eat everyone). Instead of raptors trying to eat you, a horde of mosquitoes, bees, and horsefly’s will begin to invade your life. I had a bell on to ward off bears, but to the bugs it must have sounded like a dinner bell because they were on us like a free all you can eat meal at Sizzler. You will not get any relief from the bugs for the last mile and change to the chalet, and they won’t really leave until you’re at the Glacier. Once you get to the chalet, you have a little over a half mile hike to the junction that will lead you to “the climb.” The sign will tell you it’s .6 to the glacier overlook, which is a bigger lie than the tooth fairy being some magical tooth hoarder as opposed to your parents saving your baby teeth. Its easily a mile from that point, and it’s practically a vertical hike to the top, so this will be where you question all of your life decisions to that point. We are in pretty good shape and it decimated our energy, but when you get to the top you will see it was all worth it. A few last tips. Bug spray won’t work, nothing will stop the bugs from swarming no matter how much you put on. Three liters of water minimum should get you through, anything less and you’re risking your own safety. The climb back down is tough in the knees, but should take you about an hour less than the hike up. It will be hot, like vacationing to the sun hot, but that will be motivation to get back to your car’s A/C quickly. Make sure to take your time and enjoy the sights along the way, it was the best hike I’ve ever done.

Ashley L.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

Great trail! Parked at The Loop - got there by 6:30am and lot was almost full. While a popular hike, the trail was not over crowded and it was easy to distance from others. Trail is well marked and easy to follow. Fairly steady elevation gain for most of the trail, until you get to about the last mile which has a rather steep incline. Hiking poles were helpful. View at the top is amazing and totally worth it. Windy at top, bring an extra layer.

Gina Maria McCoy-Zegarra
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
HikingNo shadeRockySnow

Awesome trail amazing views and strenuous. Hiked the trail at 6:45 am parked at Loop trail head (GTTSR) parking fills by 6:20 am arrived early 6:05 am gathered gear food and bear spray. We hiked to the Chalet ate lunch and proceeded up to Grinnell Glacier overlook. Took many breaks. Take lots of water trail sun exposure is high. You’ll sweat, muscles feel the burn. It’s worth it to see this amazing beautiful glacier. Take bear spray lots of water and breaks. Best hike I’ve done in Glacier so far Oh marmots and squirrels will join you all the way on the hike and pose for pictures with you as well. Take lots of pics and videos. Enjoy!!!

Natalie Dill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
HikingBugsNo shade

This trail was tough but it was so worth it because you get to see all the beauty of GNP in one trail and the views were jaw dropping and I’ve been to GNP many times. Get there early!!! We arrived at 6:45am on a Tuesday and there were only two spots left. We got back to the car at 5pm. I will say the bugs in some parts at higher elevation (horse flies, mosquitoes) were relentless and even with bug spray they persisted. Also there is very sparse shade so ensure you have plenty of water and sunscreen. I went through about 3 liters myself. There’s a bathroom at Granite Park. There’s several areas with brush almost up to your shoulders so make noise and be bear aware. The last 1 mile up to the glacier overlook is by far the hardest hike I’ve ever done—very steep incline the entire way. I must’ve stopped 25 times. Take it slow. THE VIEW IS WORTH IT. We saw a grizzly within 10 min of being on the trail which was a huge plus!

Corey LiDonne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeRocky
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Kel Becker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 29, 2020
HikingBugsRockySnow

Get there early. Otherwise you are going to be HOT and deal with lack of parking and the trail being overcrowded later in the day. BRING BUG SPRAY! The bugs (mosquitos, biting flies) are seriously relentless in parts of the trail, especially early morning and at higher altitude near the summit. Even with refreshing bug spray with high DEET concentration probably 7 times throughout the hike, they still were pesky and we were swarmed by dozens. We stayed at Belton Chalet, left by 5:00, then were on the trail by 6:20 AM (saw bighorn sheep right in parking lot) and didn’t get back until about 4:20 PM. The trail starts out with hand holds as it is on the edge of a precipitous drop. Know there are no places to get off the trail to go to the relieve yourself if needed so go to the restrooms at Logan Pass before taking off and the outhouse at the Granite Park Chalet before heading back out. Know too that the trail is easier going out and harder going back because it is warmer, more people and uphill when you are tired. Beautiful scenery, lots of incredible wild flowers, friendly marmots and ground squirrels. Had minimal stops (the swarms of bugs on the trail keep you motivated to move!). We did a pack lunch with us and ate it at the Granite Park Chalet (well worth the extra hike- beautiful and very historic- a must read to accompany it and Glacier Nat. Park is Night of the Grizzlies book!). Also we were talked into the Glacial Overlook trail after the chalet. For us, this part of the trek wasn’t worth it, because it’s a super tough uphill climb, unstable ground, and very steep dropoff (lots of people were sliding and had close calls). If you’ve never seen a Glacier before, this part might be worth it. But for us, it was a dangerous climb with little reward at the top, especially for my mom who had a panic attack with the high winds and major heights and big drop offs at the top. Numerous people had panic attacks here. But if you’re not afraid of heights and have stable footing, I would recommend (just know it’s a HARD workout and by far the hardest part of the hike). After we got back, we had clocked 20.5 miles on the fitbit with the Chalet and Glacial Overlook combined. The reward at the end was to see a grizzly from the parking lot on a trail just to the side of where the Highland Trail takes off.

Ryan Olexia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
Hiking

Amazing view and unbelievably rewarding climb. Generally the hike is taxing for the first portion then levels out until the final climb which will remind you who your maker is. Beautiful scenery all the way to the chalet. The last 0.6mi is the the steepest climb I’ve ever done. Extremely happy we did it, this is a great day hike that warrants a beer after. Got to the parking area at 630, plenty of parking. This hike would be extremely challenging in the afternoon with the heat, bring at least 3 liters of water regardless of when you do it.

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Sarah Maasen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2020
Hiking

This was my favorite hike by far, but because of the view of the overlook. We took the loop trail up because high line was closed, the hike up is a bit steep but doable. The chalet views are amazing if you want to end your hike there. But if you have it in you, it is a must do to go the extra mileage to Grinnell overlook. We stopped several times as the elevation gain on the last .9 is no joke at all. Would recommend poles as some of it is loose rock and some wet areas. The top was windy and cold but the view was something I will never forget. Wouldn’t recommend overlook portion for kids or anyone who is out of shape.

Ben W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2020
HikingNo shade

Breathtaking views at the top. Awesome hike. Well maintained trail. The top mile earns it the hard rating. A few recommendations and things to take into account: 1. Glacier is super busy so get there early. We arrived at the trailhead at 6:20 on a Tuesday and got the last spot in the parking lot. 2. The majority of the trail has no cover, but if you get an early start, the first 3 miles will be in the shade of the peaks. 3. Make sure to go past the first notch at the top to the peak further to the right. It’s windy up there so bring layers but you’ll enhance your view 10x. 4. The only places we found to filter water were two small streams about 1/8 mile from the chateau en route to the overlook. 5. Hike back down was really buggy.

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